ATLANTA (AP) — Noah Kirkwood came off the bench to score 19 points as Harvard built a big lead in the first half and then held off Mercer in the final minutes for a 71-67 win on Saturday afternoon.
Harvard (6-5) led 41-28 at the break, pushed that to 48-33 before Ross Cummings drained two straight from long range to close to 48-39 with 12:30 left. The Crimson pushed their advantage to 67-56 before Mercer's Fardaws Aimaq scored six unanswered points to cut the margin to 67-62 with 28 seconds left.
Spencer Freedman made two free throws to go up 69-62 but Djordjie Dimitrijevic drained a 3 to trail 69-65 with 21 seconds left. Christian Juzang made two free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
Kirkwood, a freshman from Ottawa, Ontario, drained three treys to total 17 points in the first half as Harvard was 12 of 28 from beyond the arc. Mercer (5-8) made 6 of 14 from deep. Chris Lewis added 13 points for Harvard.
Cummings scored 21 points for Mercer.